One time I had an argument with a private taxi driver, and from that moment on I knew I’d never get in his cab again, even if when there’s not another one. The personal relationship took precedence over the economic one.
One of the reasons for the conflict was the fact that the taxi driver made a woman with a little girl get out of the taxi; it seems that his cousin appeared on the street and he decided to give her a lift.
I ask, is a private business that provides a public service entirely to the owner’s whim? Shouldn’t the owners/drivers be subordinated to certain norms or social standards, even if these are informal?
In my opinion, any driver or owner of a private car who lends taxi services should provide service to anyone who can pay for it and treat them in a courteous and respectful manner.
I know perfectly well that this is regulated in other countries. I know that people are careful that private property is not used to discriminate against people for reasons other than those that are strictly economic (i.e. the monetary ability to pay for the service). This isn’t because the owners are so eminently “civilized,” but because consumers have struggled and won fight after fight.
In Cuba, however, I’m almost sure that such legislation doesn’t exist (please correct me if I’m mistaken!). “Consumers’ rights” are only applied (rudimentarily) in the state and corporate sectors.
It seems to me very important to begin distinguishing between private goods for private use and those with public purposes, especially now that it seems there’s going to be more private property in Cuba.